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A La Carte

October 09, 2014

Every morning I hunt through mountains of e-book junk looking for a few e-book jewels. And on that note, here are today’s worthwhile Kindle deals. You’ve got 5 from Sproul to choose from: The Promises of God by R.C. Sproul (free!); How Then Shall We Worship? ($1.99); The Work of Christ ($2.51); God’s Love ($1.99); Pleasing God ($1.99). Also consider  Preaching for God’s Glory by Alistair Begg ($4.43); Christian Mission in the Modern World by John Stott ($5.07).

Why Did God Allow Satan to Harm Job and His Family? - This is one answer to a perplexing question.

Will Christians Be Left Behind? - This article looks at the history of the belief in a secret rapture.

True Woman Live - The True Woman conference kicks off today; if you’d like to watch the livestream, you can do so at truewoman14.com/live/. It begins at 6:45 PM EST.

Ordinary and Other Deals - Westminster Books has some deals on a book called Ordinary, and some other promising titles.

Christ and Ebola - Denny Burk asks whether you have confidence that Christ can handle Ebola.

Christians not Welcome - I hate to read stories like this, but they are becoming more common. A graduate of a Canadian Christian university was rejected for a job because of the school’s position on sex and homosexuality.

Why Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Seems Anti-Gospel - Mike Leake writes about why opposing same-sex marriage seems anti-gospel.

No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one else talks to you more. —Paul Tripp


October 08, 2014

Every week Zondervan has me choose one book to go on sale, and this week I chose Bound Together by Chris Brauns ($2.99). Also consider Eighty Twenty Eight by Ian & Larissa Murphy ($2.99) and Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn ($4.46).

Joan or John? - Russell Moore takes on a difficult pastoral situation. Joan tells you that when she was 20 she began the process of “transitioning” from life as a man to life as a woman. She underwent extensive hormone therapy, followed by extensive plastic surgery—including so-called “gender reassignment surgery.” She’s lived for the past 30 years—physically and socially—as a woman.

Thinking Like a Non-Musician - I know I link to a lot of articles by Jamie Brown, but he just has a way of saying helpful things. Here he writes about the value of musicians trying to think like non-musicians.

Does God Have Regret? - Kevin DeYoung writes about God’s regrets.

Self-Control and the Power of Christ - I completely agree: “It is at the height of Christian virtue in a fallen world, and its exercise is quite simply one of the most difficult things you can ever learn to do.”

Beautiful Chemical Reactions - This is proof that the microscopic world can be every bit as beautiful as the world we are more accustomed to seeing.

One Thing I Want My Kids to Remember - I feel much the same.

Christians do not create truth. The Truth creates the Christian. —William Farley


October 07, 2014

The Vindication of Antonin Scalia - Here’s Al Mohler on yesterday’s news from the Supreme Court: “A giant milestone in the moral revolution passed today when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down every single appeal from several states on the issue of same-sex marriage.”

Pastor Saeed’s Letter to His Daughter - Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran, writes an encouraging and beautiful letter to his daughter on her eighth birthday.

Free E-Book - Crossway is giving away a free D.A. Carson book to whomever cares to download it.

The Pastor’s Family - Thom Rainer gives seven ways that the pastor’s family comes under attack.

Ebola Explained - Here’s a short but helpful explanation of Ebola. Speaking of which, you may like to read Pastoral Contentment and the Plague.

The Medium and the Message - Here’s a 50-year retrospective on Marshall McLuhan’s big idea that the medium is the message. It’s amazing to see how deeply the idea has become embedded in our society.

When we think too lightly of sin, we think too lightly of the Savior. —C.H. Spurgeon


October 06, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals that may interest you. The best deal of the day is Galatians by Todd Wilson ($0.99). Also consider: Walking From East to West & Has Christianity Failed You? by Ravi Zacharias ($3.99 each); The God I Love by Joni Eareckson Tada ($3.99); What’s Best Next by Matt Perman ($3.99); Redemption by Mike Wilkerson ($0.99); Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson ($0.99); Counsel from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($0.99); Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian ($0.99).

What Is Discernment? - Here’s Sinclair Ferguson giving a definition of discernment and providing some ways in which to use it.

Be Yourself in Prayer - Yes, please. Be yourself in prayer!

Bleep! Why Christians Shouldn’t Cuss - Clint Archer on why Christians should avoid cuss words.

Husbands, Hold Your Wife’s Hand - R.C. Sproul Jr. has some urgent and poignant counsel for husbands.

So Many Stories - There are so many stories in a mama’s hands.

Maggot to Fly - Sometimes God’s creation is, well, just a little bit gross.

In the worst of times, there is still more cause to complain of an evil heart than of an evil world. —Robert Fleming


October 04, 2014

Saturday dawns, and it brings me to the end of one the most fully-packed weeks I can remember. Well, it will come to an end as soon as I’ve spoken at a pregnancy care centre’s event this morning. And just before I head off, here are some links to get your weekend started:

Here is some level-headed Advice to Guys Who Want to Date My Daughters.

I’m grateful to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Your Life Was Meant To Be Ordinary, Not Radical, courtesy of Michael Horton.

Fast Company says the Apple Watch shows that The Most Hated Design Trend Is Back; it’s interesting article that shows how we adapt to devices that are unlike any we’ve used in the past.

Andy Prime is beginning a new church plant in one of Scotland’s schemes and he asks, Does Our Church Planting Strategy Including Dying?

An atheist reviews Richard Dawkins’ autobiography and titles it The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins. Even atheists are increasingly embarrassed by Dawkins.

Fall is in the air and here’s a photo gallery to display its beauty.

I was once on a plane and saw that the couple next to me had a big ol’ bag of Christian books at their feet. That sparked an enjoyable conversation between Emily Morrice and her husband Brad. And I was glad to see her post an article to The Gospel Coalition titled The Missing Demographic in Urban Churches.

Christ is even more merciful to his bride while he is in heaven than when he was on earth. —Mark Jones


October 03, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane & Paul Tripp (Free); The Art of Neighboring (a book I really enjoyed!) by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon ($1.99); God Speaks by Ray Comfort ($1.99); Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George ($1.99).

The Green Grass Session - Here’s a new (and unexpected) EP from the Getty’s!

First Sight - It’s not hard to find a great spiritual metaphor in this short documentary about two sisters who receive their sight.

When Your Child’s Personality Annoys You - “God gifts our children with unique personalities. Sometimes we love the way emerging personality traits shape our child’s behavior, but other times they can drive us crazy.” Yup.

The Cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson - I don’t often link to Politico, but I enjoyed this one.

Expositor Magazine - Expositor is a new magazine from OnePassion Ministries (a.k.a. Steven Lawson). Here’s hoping it soon makes an appearance in the app store.

A Story of Grace - I enjoyed this video which testifies to God’s grace. And this trailer for the next Pixar movie.

Gird Up Your Loins - You’ve heard the expression “gird up your loins” in the Bible; here’s an illustrated look at what it actually means. You know, just in case we ever go back to wearing tunics.

Our chief reward is Jesus himself, and Jesus’ chief reward is believers themselves. —Mark Tubbs


October 02, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Liberating Black Theology by Anthony Bradley ($0.99); The Leadership Dynamic by Harry Reeder ($0.99); The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson ($0.99); Replant by Mark Devine & Darrin Patrick ($3.82); Forever by Paul Tripp ($5.98); Issues Facing Christians Today by John Stott ($5.98).

Twenty-Two Problems with Multi-site Churches - Jonathan Leeman offers “22 misgivings I have about the multi-site model.” His focus is multi-site churches that use video for the preaching.

What Is Domestic Violence? - “The month of October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to raise public awareness about domestic violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to recognize, prevent, and respond to domestic violence.”

Gordon College - Here’s a soon-to-be-common situation at Gordon College. “Gordon College has been given 18 months to recant. If they do not change the standards for sexual behavior in their ‘life and conduct statement’ (which prohibit ‘sexual relations outside of marriage’ and “homosexual practice”), they will lose their accreditation…”

The Hound of Heaven - Here is a trailer for a new short film from N.D. Wilson that is about to make its debut.

On Not Doing Nothing - “The only wrong thing you can do with the gospel is nothing. Not telling the gospel shows you don’t trust it; you don’t trust Jesus or the one who sent him. It shows your heart. God cannot be fooled, even if we fool ourselves.”

My Best Pastor-Member Meeting Ever - I appreciate this little anecdote that makes a great point.

Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins. —Thomas Brooks


October 01, 2014

Every week Zondervan lets me choose one ebook to offer at a sale price and this week I chose A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton ($2.99). Crossway has a big list at $0.99 each: A Meal with Jesus by Tim Chester; John Newton by Jonathan Aitken; Joy by Lydia Brownback; How to Argue Like Jesus by Joe Carter; Holy Subversion by Trevin Wax; The Immigration Crisis by James Hoffmeier; Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anyabwile; Church History by Christopher Catherwood; Learning Evangelism from Jesus by Jerram Barrs; Game Day for the Glory of God by Stephen Altrogge. Other deals include Collected Writings on Scripture by D.A. Carson ($1.99). And don’t forget Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung, probably the best $0.99 you’ll spend today. Here is Amazon’s monthly list of books at $3.99 or less.

3 Ways to Avoid the “Children’s Church” Ditch - Sean Sawyers has some wise and winsome comments about children’s church and having children in the worship services.

Norway - This is a beautiful time-lapse of Norway. Full-screen and HD it if you can!

Worship At A Crossroads - This is great stuff from Jamie Brown: “This is about a fundamental distinction between two models of worship leading (irrespective of the style of music). The first model views the congregation’s engagement as integral. The second model views the congregation’s engagement as incidental.”

The Week Dominator - A few times I’ve featured the NeuYear calendar; the people behind that calendar have a new product on Kickstarter: The Week Dominator.

Calvin for Everyone - This week’s deal from Westminster Books is a good one and may finally be what you need to get into Calvin’s Institutes.

3 Truths about Spiritual Gifts - Here is a brief article addressing some misconceptions about spiritual gifts.

Mercy is God’s Benjamin; the last born and best beloved of His attributes. —C.H. Spurgeon


September 30, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung ($0.99); The Journey to Joy by Josh Moody ($0.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($2.99); Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer ($2.99); A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton ($2.99); The Insanity of God & The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99 each); Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($2.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($2.99); Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler ($2.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy ($2.99); Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous ($0.99).

The Ata: God’s Narrative Continues - I really enjoyed this film recounting God’s work in Papua New Guinea. Watch it and be encouraged!

Five Questions With a Former Muslim - Nabeel Qureshi was raised in a Pakistani-American family and grew up a devout Muslim. Here’s a short but excellent interview with him.

Why Keep Sexual Boundaries? - Ed Welch shares a helpful reflection on sin (that is applicable to all sin and not only sexual sin).

Where Satan Will Attack You Today - “You wonder why it’s so hard to find some peace of mind? Well, peace is hard to come by when you live in a warzone. And like it or not you are in a war — a very serious one. This war is cosmic in its proportions. It involves God, humans, angels, demons, principalities, powers, nations, and antichrists. And do you know where the front of the battle is? It’s in your head.”

Busting a Book Buying Myth - Yes to this, on the whole. 

Only One Life - Nathan Busenitz provides a short introduction to C.T. Studd, a name you ought to know.

Take heed you speak not peace to yourself before God speaks it. —John Owen


September 29, 2014

Why We Neglect Our Bibles - “Many Christians find it difficult to get into a daily habit of Bible reading. So this week John Piper addressed four common causes of Bible neglect in the Christian life, like: ‘I don’t read my Bible because…’”

The 6 Ingredients of Jesus’ Bitter Cup - “When Jesus looked into the cup He saw–from every dimension of His sufferings–all that He would suffer, both at the hands of men, Satan and God Himself. Isaac Ambrose captured so well the meaning of the cup when he set out what he believed to be the 6 ingredients that made it so burdensome a sight to the soul of the sinless Son of God…”

Sermon Introduction Mistakes - Here are ten sermon introduction mistakes.

Six Reasons To Live More Simply - Randy Alcorn gives six reasons to live more simply and give more generously.

The Cure for Shame - This is a powerful bit of writing from Sammy Rhodes.

The Long Fall of B.J. Upton - For the baseball fans.

He who crowned the heavens with stars was Himself crowned with thorns. —Thomas Watson